Blog

Tips for Preventing Major Storm Damage To Your Home

Throughout the Midwest, a swift change in the weather can turn a sunny and cloudless day into a torrential downpour or elicit a loud, continuous screech from tornado sirens.

In any instances of severe weather, the first priority is the safety of people—getting your loved ones inside and away from windows.

Once a plan is in place to keep everyone safe, it’s time to consider how to protect your home from major storm damage. While your first thought may be of a boarded-up home on the coast of Florida during a tropical storm, there are actually several (mostly inexpensive) preventative measures that you can take to keep your home safe from adverse effects of Mother Nature right here in the Midwest.

Clean. Out. Your. Gutters.

Many homeowners often put off the arduous task of climbing a ladder and clearing out a gross combination of sprouting vegetation and mushy debris from their gutters. It is laborious, dirty and brings with it certain safety hazards.

When you do clean out your gutters, you will do more than beautify the outside of your home.

When rain falls into your gutters from the roof and does not have a clear path to drain, the strain from the additional weight can cause them to break off from the house, causing further damage to your home. It’s important to routinely clean your gutters and, the more often you do it, the easier it will be.

Locate Dead Trees and Limbs

Other common yet often preventable hazards are dead or loose tree limbs that hangover or near your home. In many cases, all it takes is a strong wind for them to snap or knock free and fall onto your home, causing structural damage to your roof or siding and letting the elements inside.

Especially in the spring and summer, when branches are covered with sprouted leaves and flowers, it’s easy to spot which limbs are dead and which are healthy and strong (dead branches won’t produce leaves).

Depending on the equipment you have and the height and size of the dead or decaying branches, this may be a job you perform safely on your own or it could be time to hire an outside contractor.

While hiring a contractor can be expensive, it’s still cheaper than repairing your roof and is especially important when working near powerlines.

Effective Landscaping

While trees and their limbs may be the biggest threat to the roof and exterior of your home, the layout/structure of your lawn may also be impactful.

Most people like to surround their home with flower beds walled off by some sort of edging, whether that’s stone or metal. While this looks neat and creates a clear barrier, this can also hold water near the foundation of your home and cause your basement to flood during heavy rain.

Another landscaping issue can be ground slopes that run toward your home. This can lead water toward your home, which can also cause your basement to flood or even damage the foundation.

Take a look at your landscaping for these issues and try to repair them before the next major storm hits our area.

Reinforce and Repair Exterior

There are several additional preventative measures you can take to weatherize your home. One common precautious is to install storm windows, which will better withstand Mother Nature’s rage.

It’s also vital to look for damage to your home caused by previous bouts with severe storms or natural wear and tear.

Is your home roof missing any shingles? Are there cracks or loose pieces of siding? Are your doors and windows properly sealed?

All these repairs can be done over the course a few hours and will go a long way in helping your home withstand the long- and short-term effects of severe storms.

Has your home experienced storm damage? Are you worried about the adverse effects of the next major storm on your home? Reach out to Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling at 800-436-7510 and our team of experts will be able to help you.

Safely Reopening for Business

As businesses in northern Indiana and the greater region reopen and life returns to some semblance of normalcy, extra precautions must be taken in order to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

For as much as we know about the virus, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of our time was spent indoors avoiding it. According to the CDC, until there is a readily available vaccine, we’ll all have to understand what it takes to live with it.

That means doing everything we can to stay healthy. But how do we avoid getting people sick as they return to work, restaurants and shared community spaces?

Keep Yourself Safe

A level of comfort sets in as we move further away from the initial shock of the pandemic, which effectively locked down much of the United States in mid-March.

Progressively, fewer and fewer people feel the need to wear a mask in public, even at the grocery stores that sometimes require this vital safety measure. The fact of the matter is, in order to return to work full-time, you cannot get sick.

"That's the worst part because we are not taking care of ourselves,” said Steven Mwaniki, the supervisor for Commercial COVID-19 cleanup at Paul Davis Restoration in Fort Wayne. “We are kind of forgetting and trying to think, 'Oh, let's just assume the virus is not there so that we don't go back and get trapped in our own houses. Let's go out there so that we can be told to go back to work.' It's just like trying to fool our own conscious of what is happening."

Even if it’s slightly uncomfortable or considered a fashion faux pas, it’s important that you keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask as often as possible. According to CDC guidelines, “Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.”

Requiring every employee to wear a mask is even more important at work, where one positive on-the-job case could lead to your business temporarily shutting down once again.

Other precautions a business or homeowner can take include creating strategically placed hand sanitizer stations, frequently wiping down workspaces with disinfectant, adhering to social distancing guidelines and encouraging employees to frequently wash their hands.

An extra safety measure is to take every employee’s temperature before they enter the building. While a high temperature doesn’t equate to a positive COVID-19 test, it does provide an overall sense of a person’s health.

Mwaniki says that even if one employee or customer ignores these guidelines, it can put everyone in their general vicinity in danger of contracting the virus.

Outsource Cleaning Services

Another safety precaution business owners should utilize are professional cleaning services targeted specifically at preventing COVID-19, which Paul Davis Restoration in Fort Wayne has offered since the beginning of the lockdown. This will allow a reopening business to ensure that there are no signs of COVID-19 on their premises while employees return to work.


For Paul Davis Restoration’s Commercial COVID-19 cleanup, Mwaniki and his team will go into a business or home and spray an entire area—from the floors to the walls to the ceilings—with a disinfectant chemical that will eradicate the virus. They will also wipe down surfaces if requested to do so.

When evaluating a COVID-19 cleaning service, it’s important to find services not looking to take advantage of a crisis by increasing rates and exploiting desperate customers.

“We decided we were going to help businesses and not take advantage of them,” Mwaniki said. “This is very sincere because it's reflected in the cost we came up with.”

He says that at the start of the pandemic, he noticed other companies charging more than 10 times the rate per square foot cleaned.

For more information on Paul Davis Restoration’s Commercial COVID-19 cleanup, visit pdrneindiana.com/450-covid-19-commercial-cleaning or call 260-436-7510. Our commercial cleaning services are EPA and FDA approved to combat most common viruses and bacteria.

 

 

 

Flooded Basement? Prevent Major Water Damage With These Tips

As a homeowner, one of the most common yet devastating problems is a basement flood.  As water pours in, it’s nearly impossible to avoid feeling helpless.

All you can do is move your most important belongings out of the basement — assuming they’re not already damaged beyond repair — in hopes to save what you can.

While it’s impossible to prevent a natural disaster, there are steps you can take in order to mitigate or even prevent the potential destruction water can cause in your basement.

Signs Your Basement is Susceptible to Flood and Water Damage

Even in dry conditions, there may already be signs that your basement is susceptible to flood damage.

How you take care of the outside of your house can actually have a big impact on the inside, even in your basement. In fact, people who neglect to clean their gutters or don’t have them set up to drain several feet from their homes are actually more likely to see flood damage in their basement.

“Keep those maintained and cleaned out,” said Jeremy Baxter, who oversees the water department here at Paul Davis Restoration of Northeast Indiana. “Make sure that you have the water going away at least three feet from the house, whether that's using an extension at the bottom of the spout or something else that diverts the water away from the house.

“If your gutters get clogged up, that water will run down the side of the house and into the ground near the foundation.”

Along the same lines, it’s also important to pay attention to the landscaping next to your house. Flower beds that retain water or hills that run toward your home can wear on the foundation and eventually lead to water getting in.

If your basement is unfinished, it's important to monitor cement walls and floors for cracks. Even the smallest abrasion can be a gateway for water damage and further wear and tear

“Obviously, with smaller cracks, you can probably patch it, but if you get something that you can stick your finger in, I would definitely call a professional to see if you can get that fixed because that's going to let water in,” Baxter said.

If your basement is finished, you can check for moisture on the drywall. Over time, a basement that’s letting even a small amount of water in on a regular basis will start to soften or the tape and paint on the wall will begin to bubble.

Lastly, anyone with a basement should make sure that their sump pump is in working condition and is capable of handling an extreme amount of rainwater. If a sump pump falls behind, it will begin to let water in.

Schedule Routine Maintenance on your Septic System

Modern plumbing is a wonderful convenience, but that doesn’t mean it can be neglected.

“When's the last time you had your septic tank cleaned?” Baxter said. “Routine maintenance will prevent a lot of what we're talking about.”

It’s also important to have your sewer inspected to make sure there are no compromising issues. If either system malfunctions, it can lead to a huge mess and thousands of dollars in damage.

It’s also a lengthy process to restore a finished basement that has been significantly impacted by water damage.

First, wet and damaged materials must be replaced. Then those areas need to be left alone to dry. Once the area is dry again, contractors like the ones at Paul Davis can begin to restore your basement to its former state.

Experience Flood Damage?

If you’ve recently experienced a flooded basement or are worried about potential flooding, it’s important to look into your home insurance policy.

You’ll want to see what types of flood damage your policy covers, because not all flood causes are. Then check the monetary value of the policy. Will it cover $10,000 in flood damage? More? Less?

After that, you’ll be ready to call in experts, such as the specialists at Paul Davis Restoration, which can return your basement to its former state and offer additional tips for preventing future water damage.

To reach the experts at Paul Davis Restoration, visit www.pdrneindiana.com or call 260-436-7510.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Cleaning: How To Properly Disinfect Your Business

The entire business world is wrestling with how to continue operations (plus, support workers and the local economy) while also keeping their workforce safe from the novel coronavirus pandemic. This goes for both large and small businesses and includes manufacturers and hospitals.

Given the ease at which the virus spreads, it’s more important now than ever to keep your business clean and disinfected in an efficient manner. How are industrial cleaners staying ahead of the novel coronavirus?

“With the current Covid-19 outbreak and knowing this need for expert, state of the art infectious disease cleaning is now on the rise, we are now investing in more equipment, new equipment, and an extensive staff training,” said Shelly Koelper, owner of Paul Davis of Northeast Indiana.

With that said, here are steps you and your employees can take to keep your office disinfected.

Make Sure Your Cleaning Kills COVID-19

While washing your hands, applying hand sanitizer and wiping down surfaces is an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, not all cleaning solutions kill the virus.

To be sure what you’re using will effectively eliminate the novel coronavirus, the American Chemistry Council released a list of cleaning products that in compliance with the EPA's Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticides.

Check it to make sure the cleaning supplies you’re using are listed. If your product of choice isn’t listed, look for the items listed when you’re shopping for new supplies. If it is, buy more and keep using it.

Surfaces and often used items need to be cleaned (or at least wiped down) multiple times per day, especially those that often come into contact with people.

Administer Disinfectant to Employees and Encourage them To Wash their Hands

If your business is still operating with employees coming into the office, make sure every employee has disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers at their workstation. Make it as easy as possible to keep their hands, desk and work equipment as clean as possible throughout the day.

At the same time, wipes and hand sanitizers should not replace hand washing. It’s important that employees still wash their hands several times per day.

It also helps if works limit the items they touch on a regular basis. The less they touch, the less the virus can spread.

Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home

While there are plenty of asymptomatic careers of COVID-19, it still important to request that all employees who feel even slightly under the weather stay home and away from other people, especially if they’re experiencing symptoms related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization, some of the symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Heavy fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing

Hire an Industrial Cleaner

While the steps listed above are effective ways for your business to stay clean from infectious diseases like the novel coronavirus, there’s still only so much you can do.

That’s why it’s also good to bring in a professional industrial cleaner whenever possible. They often have decades of experience at preventing viruses from spreading.

“We’ve been known as local experts in home and business restoration for the past 27 years, whether that be from water losses, fire or smoke damage, or mold and biohazard cleanup,” Koelper said. “But many local businesses including hospitals, schools and large corporations also know us for our experience and expertise with disinfecting and keeping their facilities safe from airborne pathogens.”

For more information on Paul Davis of Northeast Indiana and our industrial cleaning service, call 260-436-7510 24 hours a day, seven days a week.